Back when I was learning to program in BASIC on the Wang 2200, I ran into memory limitations when the code I was writing exceeded the machine’s 4K of RAM. I had been writing the code, a Star Wars game with four different mini-games, at home on paper, typing it in at school, and saving the program to cassette tape. It was a very black day when I hit the 4K limitation.
My new machine is lovely but had been having some swapping issues. I am hard on computers… At any given time, I have email open, a to-do planner, a calendar, an IM client, iTunes, Firefox with six or eight windows and numerous tabs, and three or four terminal windows. Depending on what else I am doing, I might have an IDE open, a database visual developer, MySQL, and JBoss. If I am working against Oracle or SQL Server, I will additionally have VMWare open running a virtual Linux box (for Oracle) or XP (for SQL Server). There are a host of other things that might be open; photo software, blogging software, music software, office software.
When I have a bunch of things open, swapping between the big processes (a VM or the IDE) could take up to thirty seconds; a big drag in terms of productivity.
So I’ve gone and maxxed out the RAM; 8 GB. This is (assuming my math is correct) twenty million times more RAM than the Wang 2200 I started on had. Probably more RAM than was available in the entire state of Connecticut at that time.
I’m also upgrading the hard drive from a 5400 to a 7200 HD. Still 320 GB. I have not done this yet as I am engaged in a comedy of errors regarding an external drive enclosure that I need to do the transfer; first, the enclosure was incorrectly specified by a trusted friend (you know who you are), then the replacement I managed to find locally doesn’t seem to have the oompf that the 5v/800 mA new drive requires. Sometime over the weekend I will take out the DVD/ROM and temporarily replace it with the new drive while I format and transfer. With a little luck, the enclosure will work with the current HD as it does with an Apple-branded 60 GB HD that came out of the DTG Mini when I upgraded that to better run Logic.
Anyway, the new RAM is awesome and I find that I can have my Linux VM and Eclipse open at the same time along with everything else without problems.
My current contract is going well but entails a lot of work. I have billed for more than sixty hours each week since I started although I have actually worked more than that. They seem to be happy with the work that I am doing and have extended my contract from May 30th for the summer.
Although I was hired for my text messaging experience, I have been doing very little related to that. Much of my work revolves around databases, Java, and web services. I have picked up some new skills and brushed off some old ones. It is certainly interesting work and I am pleased that they have extended my contract.
Tomorrow morning I am assisting my paid department at ‘Traumaproma’. This is to be a performance of sorts at the local high school. Saturday is the prom; tomorrow we will respond to a mock drunk-driving accident at the school involving two vehicles and four patients. I understand the injuries may be severe; someone may die and someone may be transported from the scene by helicopter. It sounds like fun.